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Pleasantville and the textuality of media memory

(1993), Pleasantville evokes a nascent conservatism against which to pit and champion themes of social justice and cultural and political regeneration. While in Dave , an honest everyman is displaced into the corrupt world of Presidential politics, changing it with can-do compassion, Daniel and Jennifer are displaced into the regulated myth-world of Pleasantville, transforming it with values and

in Memory and popular film
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an echo of the kind of studio resistance that Stone had encountered during preparations for Platoon at the early juncture of his career, as well as confirmation of an enduring conservatism within the major studios, despite the liberal pretentions of some of the industry’s leading spokespeople. Locating Stone’s auteurism within a critical framework always presents challenges for critics, scholars and audiences. These 233 Th e ci nem a of Ol iver   S to ne 234 off-​kilter projects from the turn of the millennium have made that pursuit no easier. The classic

in The cinema of Oliver Stone
Consumerism and alienation in 1950s comedies

the hidden conservatism of destructive pupils in Carry On Teacher (Gerald Thomas, 1959) who ‘cheer uproariously at the maintenance of the status quo ’. 16 However, it is overly simplistic to see the rhetoric of consensus in 1950s comedies as a unifying force; for example, ‘working-class British people were depicted in terms of patronizing ignorance’. 17 The Smallest Show on Earth is aware of this

in British cinema of the 1950s

’s reputation for literariness and restraint, and has helped imbue it with a theatrical quality, served as it has been by an unobtrusive ‘“flatness” in the depiction and construction of space, as if the camera’ is ‘afraid to move through the fourth wall and interrupt an established environment’. 35 In spite of the merits of script, performance and dramatic effect, such stylistic conservatism with dialogue to

in The British monarchy on screen
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The Admirable Crichton and Look Back in Anger

Crichton, having found some pearls on the island, settles for a maid (Diane Cilento) and goes off to get married and start a business and a family. There is no such magical resolution in the play, which concludes with an uncomfortable impasse: Crichton, still the mouthpiece of conservatism, faces the young woman he almost married across the gulf of privilege and social difference. These differences

in British cinema of the 1950s
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Quentin Crisp as Orlando’s Elizabeth I

conservatism of the times they depict – analyses which also had relevance for the years of Thatcher’s rule in the UK during which they were produced – their narratives unfolded in a linear and realistic fashion, without formal or stylistic innovation. Many theoretical considerations of heritage cinema have attempted to interrogate the political ramifications of a body of films that seems to revel in the

in The British monarchy on screen
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An allegory of imperial rapport

. Well done, my friend’, says the King in a belated bid for egalitarianism, ‘Thank you, Your Majesty’, replies Logue (albeit with a rather ambiguous intonation). It is at this point that the stories of the two men concur and the film’s conservatism re-emerges. Lionel learns his place, his rebellion is tamed and he is rewarded, as vassals in days of old, with a knighthood. 22 George VI gains that sacred quality of

in The British monarchy on screen
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The King’s Speech as melodrama

circumvent even this fleeting recognition of the vast suffering of the general populous during this time – laying the film open to common criticisms levelled at the conservatism and elitism of the heritage film. That said, the film does engage on some level with political challenges of republicanism and the spectre of socialism that plagued the monarchy at this time, such as when George V tells Bertie

in The British monarchy on screen
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nevertheless displayed many of the same traits to which his younger self succumbed. Therefore, Stone’s dramatic history in World Trade Center and W. privileged character above outright polemical commentary. The result was partly to do with circumstance, partly with Hollywood conservatism, and in part to do with Stone’s own cinematic evolution. Had Stone’s filmography in this period included War on Terror, Jawbreaker and/​or Pinkville, then undoubtedly the overall direction and assessment of his work would have looked different. Studio conservatism may have stayed his hand to

in The cinema of Oliver Stone
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been resolute enough: ‘Perhaps I was pandering, perhaps I was softballing him with the questions, as some people say.’51 In truth, Russell’s critique only followed HBO’s editorial thinking; the message was that it was not really acceptable to give someone like Castro a sympathetic hearing, and Stone thought the objections reeked of ideological conservatism, even if he himself could have been a tougher inquisitor. Nevertheless, with whatever goodwill remained, and with renewed enthusiasm from HBO following Comandante’s cancellation, Stone returned to Cuba in May 2003

in The cinema of Oliver Stone